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These Are the Best Meals Friends of Eater Miami Had in 2021

The highlights during a rebuilding year.

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Uchi’s wagyu yaki onigiri
Uchi’s wagyu yaki onigiri
Logan Crable

As we put a cap on 2021, Eater surveyed a group of friends, writers, and all around experts for their take on the past year. We asked them ten questions: from top standbys to top newcomers, from best meals to restaurants they’ve broken up with. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2021. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Responses do not necessarily reflect the views of Eater and Eater Miami.

Alona Martinez (Eater Miami Contributor): Does bread count? Hit me up with those carbs at Flour & Weirdoughs - really, anything there is stellar, but don’t pass on the It’s Brisket B*tch!

Giovanny Gutierrez (Chat Chow TV/Eater Miami photographer): Chef Niven Patel over at Thesis hosted a one night only dinner featuring Food and Wine’s “Best of the Best Chefs” at Orno with each chef in town doing one banging dish and it was spectacular in a way reminiscent of pre-covid dinner event of the highest caliber.

Matthew Meltzer (Thrillist Miami): The full moon dinner at Strawberry Moon was one of the best dining atmospheres I’ve ever experienced. That was probably the best meal, but the most memorable was the opening of Planta at Rosemary Square in West Palm, where this girl came up to me and asked if I was the Barstool Guy, and when I told her no she took a selfie with me anyway and sent it to her friends telling them I was. Strangely, haven’t been getting that one much lately.

Stacy Moya (Eater Miami Contributor): Chef Adrianne prepared a maximum flavor style Chuleta Can Can (deep fried pork chop) after a trip to Puerto Rico as featured on her YouTube channel Searching for Maximum Favor, which is actually up for an Emmy, and it was outstanding. Also, sashimi lovers can never go wrong with Sushi Maki—very fresh and reasonably priced.

Virginia Gil (Time Out Miami): I’m going to cheat and pick two. I’ll preface the first with total acknowledgment of my privilege because not everyone gets to dine at member’s-only restaurant ZZ’s Sushi Bar. So, lucky me who got the chance to fight for those tiny little wagyu sliders and dig my fork into the tuna carpaccio with foie gras. Sorry, not sorry?

The second was an old horse showing us some very delicious new tricks. In the fall, La Mar revamped its menu for the first time in years, and the overhaul brought mouthwatering hit after hit. There was the perfect scallop served in a half shell, the tuna tostada with smoked trout eggs, the warm papas Peruanas, and on and on and on. Diego Oka, we stan.

Juliana Accioly (Eater Miami contributor): Hands down the Lido Champagne Bar at the Surf Club. Michelin-starred chef Michael White makes the best spaghetti with clams in town, and the filetto with wild mushrooms and red wine sauce is out of this world. The service is impeccable. Seawell Fish n’ Oyster has new chef, Craig Tooker, and his seafood charcuterie packs all kinds of goodness, from stellar beet cured salmon to luscious lump crab salad. The restaurant’s Mermaid Lounge is a great outdoor space for romantic meals and special celebrations.

Sara Liss (Author of Miami Cooks): It’s a toss-up between the omakase experience at Uchi and the Butcher’s Feast at Cote Miami. Both were sublime. And not only was every bite fresh and creative at both meals but the service was spectacular at both.

Kelly Blanco (NBC 6): Toss up between literally everything on Zitz Sum’s menu and Leku’s tasting menu.